9 amazing apps to help you sleep
Insomnia can affect us all. Whether you’re stressed at work, on certain medication or even just as a result of travelling, all of these things can result in trouble sleeping; this, in turn, can cause mood swings and a lack of focus, so it is imperative that if you start to experience trouble sleeping you should look for things to help you sleep that work for you.
If you have just researched travel insurance policies for your upcoming holiday you might also want to download a couple of these amazing apps to help you sleep. From jet lag to simply adjusting to sleeping in new surroundings, holidays and travel can easily result in loss of sleep and these great apps can ensure that you not only make the most of your trip but enjoy better sleep upon your return.
Andrew Johnson is a trained professional having undertaken Clinical Hypnotherapy with the London College of Clinical Hypnosis, he is at his happiest teaching people how they can better relax and there is no better way to relax than to get a good night’s sleep. His MP3 recording, which is also available through GooglePlay, is his bestselling recording and his whole range passed 10 million downloads last year.
Helping people build a natural and deep sleeping pattern, the Deep Sleep app available for download via the App Store, is a guided meditation to help people overcome insomnia and get to sleep, wherever they are.
Sleepio is a clinically proven sleep improvement programme and its iPhone or iPad app form means you can take the programme with you on the go. Developed by world sleep expert Professor Colin Espie, of the University of Oxford, the programme helps you get a better night’s sleep through assessing your sleep and visiting ‘The Prof’, the virtual sleep expert, who then teaches you proven sleep improvement techniques. There’s also a range of tools within the programme to help you put these techniques into practice.
Here Professor Espie shares with us his top tips.
“Both your sleep quality and your sleep architecture – that’s how your sleep is structured throughout the night – may change as you get older. Not only does your sleep get lighter in quality, but you may find that it becomes more broken and fragmented throughout the night.
Tip: Control your napping
It is very important to save our sleep for night-time. This builds up a strong homeostatic drive for sleep in bed and strengthens the bed-sleep connection. This is why we should avoid sleeping during the day and in the evening. The rule is that bed is for sleep and night is for sleep. But also daytime is for wakefulness. This is a fundamental principle. If your sleep seeps into the daytime it is likely that being awake will seep into your night, and this will only make your sleep worse. Stopping naps if you are in the habit of taking them will not only better prepare you for a continuous, longer sleep at night but will strengthen the connection between your bed and sleep. Sleeping in a chair or on a sofa in another room weakens that important link.
If you feel that you absolutely must have a nap, or if you fall asleep without wanting to, then you have to make sure that you don’t have another type of sleep problem that is associated with excessive daytime sleepiness. The message is only nap briefly (10-15 minutes at most) if you absolutely must – and if you must, just be sure that you don’t have another type of sleep disorder.”
– Professor Espie
Glenn Harrold’s Relax and Sleep Well
Bestselling self-help audio author Glenn Harrold has developed a fantastic hypnosis and meditation app, Relax and Sleep Well that consists of two completely free hypnosis recordings that can help you achieve better sleep before offering in-app purchase options for both iPhone and Android should you wish to continue on the path to better sleep and relaxation.
Harrold’s 7 Golden Rules of sleep are as follows:
- Keep a regular schedule.
- Do not eat or drink anything other than water four hours prior to going to sleep.
- Do not keep technology such as televisions, mobile phones, hi-fi equipment or landline phones in your bedroom while you sleep.
- Sleep in complete darkness.
- Keep a notepad by your bed if you tend to mull over things while trying to sleep, you can then write it down and focus on sleeping.
- Choose relaxing colours such as natural green, cool blue or lavender for your bedroom.
- Take part in regular exercise.
Entrain is an app that relays schedules of lighting and darkness that have been computed to adjust a model of the body’s clock to a new time zone in the shortest amount of time possible.
The app was developed by graduate student Olivia Walch of the University of Michigan and looks to help people achieve better sleep through the use of light, which is the primary driving input to the circadian clock.
“Don’t underestimate the effect light can have on your body! It only takes a little light to affect your body’s clock. You can practice better ‘light hygiene’ by sleeping in very dark dark, and avoiding blue light (like from a phone) at night.”
– Olivia Walch, designer of Entrain
It is now common knowledge that white noise helps babies sleep as it recreates an environment akin to that of being inside the womb, but TMSOFT’s White Noise app offers a whole host of calm and relaxing sounds as well as white noise itself that can help adults in a similar way. Whether it’s pouring rain, crashing waves or even a cat purring, they have a sound that is sure to lull you into a comfortable and relaxing sleep, wherever you are.
Jet Lag Rooster
Jet lag is one of the most common issues that sees people losing sleep and it is something that can not only risk you enjoying your holiday, but also put you off in the future. Thankfully there are some great apps that can help you overcome this tiresome condition. Jet Lag Rooster is one such app, which works by shifting your body clock to reduce or prevent jet lag. Working by creating a specially worked out jet lag plan, Jet Lag Rooster has helped countless travellers reduce and even prevent the onset of the issue.
Stop Jet Lag
Stop Jet Lag is another fantastic solution to the problem that sees so many missing out on precious awake hours on holiday. Those who are purchasing travel insurance policies for over 60s in particular may find that they suffer with jet lag as it worsens the older we get and while our travel insurance can cover you for a whole range of medical conditions and activities, it can’t stop you from suffering jet lag. Thankfully this nifty app can! Here they provide their top tips on avoiding jet lag.
“You can transition to new time zones quickly and smoothly with simple, but crucial, adjustments to normal routines by identifying:
- The right time to rest or to stay active and when it’s possible for you to get core sleep given the limitations of your specific flight schedule.
- When to seek exposure to bright light or to avoid bright light.
- When to take melatonin supplements (optional), based on extensive research conducted by
- Oregon Health Sciences University.
- The proper size, timing and type of meals, and when you should and should NOT consume caffeinated beverages, as researched at Argonne National Labs.
- The optimal time to start operating on the new time zone.”
Sleep Genius is another great sleep app that is designed to make your sleeping problems a
thing of the past. Developed following research used to help NASA get astronauts to sleep, you can rest assured that if it’s good enough for NASA it will hopefully help with your own insomnia. The Sleep Genius app works through using neurosensory algorithms helping your brain get ready for sleep by guiding your brain through each of the five stages in the sleep cycle, allowing you to enjoy the physical, emotional and mental benefits of a good night’s sleep.
Next to jet lag, snoring is the other issue you may need a sleep app for. Whether it is a regular occurrence or just occasionally that your partner keeps you awake with their snoring, if it has you losing sleep it is enough of a problem. SnoreLab, the snoring management app, is a great solution that measures snoring intensity, records sound samples, tests the effectiveness of snoring remedies and tracks the impact of lifestyle factors so that you both can start to enjoy a silent night’s sleep.
Should your sleeping problems persist it is recommended that you seek advice from your doctor, these apps can only help with the light management of sleep problems and are no replacement for medical advice.
Image Credit: m01229 (flickr.com) Andrew Johnson, Sleepio, Glenn Harrold’s Relax and Sleep Well, Entrain, TMSOFT, Jet Lag Rooster, StopJetLag (TM), Sleep Genius, SnoreLab